http://www.financialpost.com/todays-...654/story.htmlWhen the Baby Boomer generation left home, they didn't look back. They couldn't. Not with younger siblings and physically smaller living quarters.
"Children are taking longer to leave home, they are staying in school longer if they don't have immediate employment prospects or opportunities, taking longer to find stable jobs, longer to get married, longer to have kids," said Daryl Diamond, financial planner and author of Your Retirement Income Blueprint 2011.
I don't know how many members may fall into this scenario but I'm one of them. This is also one of the few budgeting areas where my wife and I see things differently. There are a couple of points we agree on:
- We will pay post-secondary tuition fees provided courses are passed.
- We cover room and board, at home, while the children go to school.
Both of us have grown up in a situation where neither of these options were available, so I think it is a relatively good deal.
Here are some of the questions that arise: Son graduated and is employed in his field but can only secure continuous renewing contract work (one company) at a few bucks over minimum-wage. I realize his situation is tight, so I don't want to gouge him, but I think it is fair he pay something for food, internet, utilities, etc. My wife has more trouble with this. I thought we should charge about $350 per month, my wife didn't want to charge anything for fear that we would be "forcing him out". We compromised at $250.
Daughter going into 3rd year university. We pay tuition and cover room and board. She is a good student and gets scholarships which help us greatly because they cover about half her tuition. She is also one of the few students without a cell-phone. My wife thinks that we should supply one, especially due to her scholarship status. I think that many kids, even from wealthier families, would be paying their own tuition or getting loans regardless of getting a scholarship. So I don't know that it would be expecting too much for her to work to cover her own cell-phone expenses. However, I'm starting to waiver. What do you people think? Advice?
Here is the 3rd dilemma -same daughter. She may eventually further her studies at a university in another city. I believe if this happens, she should either work or get student loans to cover the cost difference between room-and-board at home and rental accommodation. My wife is not so convinced on this point. Am I being too much of a hard-ass?
I will say that in other areas my wife is very frugal - very often much more so than I am. Also we are doing okay and have some RESP money to help with the education. However, a recent layoff, which possibly means early-retirement status for me (profession seems to have become obsolete), means that we do have to exercise a certain amount of caution with such expenses.
Still have a 14-year-old daughter who is already pressing on the financial purse-strings. Sometimes I wonder if the older 2 will be independent by the time we face the university situation with her.
So let me toss out this general question. How much financial responsibility should parents have for their adult children? Please feel free to give advice or opinions, even if you do not yet have children of adult status. However, be aware that someone asked a similar query when my children were much younger and I was very much tougher regarding my advice for financial expectations for adult-age children. As you will find out, it's one of those situations that looks much different "on paper" than "in practice".